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Article:Week 12 AFL Playoff Picture: American Conference

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The American Conference: Includes the 4 team Central Division and 4 team Western Division: 6 of the 8 teams make the playoffs.

Central Division: The entire division has had it's bye week already. There are 3 games left between division opponents. The bulk of their games are versus the National conference, which is already 25-8 against the American Conference.

1) Chicago Rush: 8-2, 5-0 in the division. Presently the 1 seed. Their 6 remaining opponents are a collective 24-27. Key Game: Hosting Dallas in Week 17. Chicago has a 4 game lead in their division with 6 games to play, and a 2.5 game lead for best record in the Conference. Historically the 9th best team in AFL history, and with Mike Ditka in an active ownership role, the chances of Chicago collapsing are almost nil.

2) Colorado Crush: 4-6, 1-3 in the division. Presently 4th seed. Their six remaining opponents are a collective 21-30. They have 2 games left in the division, two against the West, and two against the National Conference. Key Game: Going to San Jose in two weeks. Colorado has been hampered by inconsistent QB play all season. When John Dutton is on, the Crush win. When he's not, they don't. John Elway has drifted away from his duties with the team this year, and it also shows.

3) Grand Rapids Rampage: 3-7, 2-3 in the division. Presently 6th seed. Their 6 remaining opponents are a collective 19-33. Key Game: Week 14 hosting Utah. James MacPherson is 3-5. He crushes when he's right, he runs a Duke-like team when he's off. Given that there are only 2 of the 8 teams in the conference above .500, the Rampage could climb as high as a 3-seed.

4) Kansas City Brigade: 2-8, 1-3 in the division. Presently, first out of the playoffs, 7th in the Conference. Their 6 remaining opponents are a collective 29-23, the only team in the AC with an opponent's record over .500. Key games: Week 13 at Philadelphia. D Bryant is 2-2 in his last two starts, and if KC is going to make a run at the post season, they're going have to do better.

Western Division: Arizona has had it's bye, the other teams still have theirs coming up. There are 4 games left between division opponents. This division is 4-15 against the National Conference.

1) San Jose SaberCats: 6-5, 4-0 in the division. Presently, the 2nd seed in the Conference. Their 5 remaining opponents are a collective 17-24. Key Game: Week 16 hosting Tampa Bay. This is as bad as San Jose has been this late in the season since 2006. They're horridly inconsistent and this will be only the second time in the 14-year franchise history that they'll have a losing record again the National Conference. The two non-conference games they finish with will tell if this is a 'Cat year or not.

2) Arizona Rattlers: 4-6, 1-4 in the division. Presently, 4th in the Conference. Their 5 remaining opponents are a collective 18-34. Key game: A week 14 road game at Orlando. They're in position presently to keep the ownership from having to refund the season ticket holders, but they're brutally inconsistent. They've scored 60+ points 4 times, and they're 4-0 in those games. Otherwise, they look totally inept. Which is embarrassing for the franchise with the 4th most wins in league history.

3) Los Angeles Avengers: 4-7, 3-1 in the division. Presently, 5th in the Conference. Their 5 remaining opponents are a collective 14-28. Key Game: Week 14 hosting San Jose. LA has a chance to keep their spot, but they've got to win games outside of the division. And historically they're sub-.500 against those teams. Sonnie Cumbie got the starting job back after last weekend, but they're not playing good enough defense.

4) Utah Blaze: 2-9, 0-3 in the division. Presently, last in the Conference. Their 5 remaining opponents are a collective 19-22 Key Game: All Of Them. The playoffs for Utah started two weeks ago. They're 6-9 all time against the 3 division opponents left on their schedule, and 1-2 versus the other remaining opponents. 7-9 will make the playoffs out of the American Conference, 6-10 maybe. Utah has to win their last 5 games.

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